Category Archives: Green Room

Confetti Explosions at The Blogcademy, Chicago

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A little known fact about me is that I was a huge nerd at school. I think people assume that I must have been one of the rebellious ones, hanging out behind bike sheds and bunking off classes, but actually, I was super well behaved. It wasn’t until I hit 15, discovered rock music and boys that didn’t resemble pre-pubescent gremlins, that I became a bit more of a wild child!

Since then, I’ve pretty much exclusively attracted a more rebellious crowd, and that isn’t just limited to brides that read my wedding content. At The Blogcademy workshops, seemingly wherever we were in the world, the girls in attendance definitely err on the alternative and quirky side.

So you can imagine my surprise when, in Chicago, we were met with the most well behaved class we’ve ever experienced! They actually threw us off a bit at first. They were so quiet and polite I started to worry that they weren’t having a good time. But, after getting to know them all on a one-to-one basis throughout the weekend, I soon came to realise that they weren’t that different to our usual crowd. They were one of the sweetest, kindest bunch of babes we’ve ever had. In actual fact they were a lot more like me than I first realised: eager to learn and just wanting to soak up everything and anything that they could during our time together.

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Many, many, many notes were taken (SO STUDIOUS!)

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Big Blogcademy News..!

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It wasn’t all sun loungers and cocktails while I was in Palm Springs at the beginning of the year. While my fellow headmistresses and I may have pretended we were just there on an extravagant jolly, we actually went with a seriously big agenda… the results of which are (finally!) being launched tomorrow!!

The Blogcademy website has been given a facelift (pop by tomorrow to see it!) and we have some new and very, very exciting new offerings. By now I think most of you have probably guessed what kind of format it will take (the camera in the photo at the top of this post kinda gives it away right?) but nonetheless, The Blogcademy: Home School will be winging it’s way to a computer near you TOMORROW! To be the first to know as soon as we flip the switch, follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook!

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK!

And because nothing is ever perfect first time, presenting: the bloopers reel!

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How Do I Know What to Charge?

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Hi Kat
A quick query: How much do you charge for product reviews? I am a virtual vet. I also have a blog, posting every day. This is becoming a larger part of my workload, but I do it for free, which is a challenge. Part of my mix is a weekly product review, which I have done for free up till now. A PR company told me that one of the reasons that they use me is that I am free whereas people like you charge a fee. So hence my question: How much do you charge?

Hey Kat
I’m a relatively new wedding photographer and struggling with setting my rates. I know I’m cheap (a lot cheaper than most other photographers I’ve looked at) but I feel that my prices
 are justified because I’m still in my first year of business and I have a lot to learn. I guess my question is really this – how do I know when I’m good enough to charge more and how do I get from where I am now to where everyone else seems to be?

I get a lot emails from people asking me these kinds of questions so let me start by being completely honest – when it comes to how much you should charge I really have no idea.

There are so many factors that need to be considered when setting your rates, and as an outsider I can’t examine any of them. What I can do for you though is point you in the right direction for figuring this all out for yourself.

Finding your pricing sweet spot should depend on a variety of elements, all of them very specific to you and your business. There are a number of things you need to look at:

1. How much time the job will take you – time is money and all that. It might be easier to think in an hourly rate, i.e. the longer and more complex the job, the more you should be paid.

2. How much doing this job will cost you – in expenses such as travel, kit or outsourcing anything. These obviously need to be covered by whatever you charge.

3. How many paid jobs you want to do per week/month/year – so you know how much you need to get paid, per job, to reach whatever salary you want to earn.

4. How much you need to earn, per job, to make a profit - because, after all, you hopefully want to make one. Make sure you add a little bit extra on your fee to get there!

5. How much it costs you to run your business – knowing this will help you figure out how much you need to earn for your business to be profitable. Taking all of the above into account as well of course.

6. Your experience – the more of it you have, the more you can charge. In the vet’s case, you also need to consider the traffic and reach of your blog. What kind of results can you give people who pay to be reviewed on your site? The more traffic your site has, the more you can command per article. How many products will the companies you feature need to sell off the back of your review for them to be happy about what they paid? For example, if you charge £200 for a review, a dog biscuit company might have to sell 40 packets of biscuits at £5 each to break even.

7. What you think you’re worth – how much do you think each job is worth? Would you be happy to do the task for £100? £500? £1000? £10,000?

8. What people are willing to pay you – it’s all very well and good quoting someone £10,000 for a job, but will they actually be willing to pay that?!

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The Blogcademy, San Francisco

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The night before our first Blogcademy workshop of the year I turned to Gala and squealed “I AM SO EXCITED!” It had been nearly six months since our last class in Auckland and I was dying to get cracking again.

… And I wasn’t disappointed. I think this actually might have been one of the best classes ever!!

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The reason being that every single gorgeous creature that came along was enthusastic, driven, with a unique story to tell. Esme was a writer with some damn good style, Mariah passionately ran her organic skin care spa line (and had treats for everyone!), Erin was a sewing champion and Hannah paints her face everyday and posts photos on her blog!

Paula holds the world record for drawing Fred Flintstone (!) and blogs about fashion for the over 40s and Angela is a pastry connoisseur. I mean, goodness, what a diverse bunch ‘o babes!

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20 Ways to Keep Your Facebook Page Active

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Like most small business owners, I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. We might all moan about whatever new development they implement next, but it is still, by far, the social media channel that brings the most traffic to my blog, and the one where the most reader engagement happens. Although the reach of your page may be decreasing due to whatever it is Facebook is up to at the moment, it is still a vital tool for any small business owner.

Here are 20 easy ways to keep your page active. The key with Facebook, or any social media outlet really, is to post things that your fans will want to engage with. Don’t just use it as a place to spam your latest business updates or blog links. Using a mixture of these ideas will help to naturally engage your fans, and over time, up your overall reach.

1. Update it regularly (at least daily)

2. Post funny, shareable memes

3. Ask questions

4. Run a contest

5. Share sneak peeks

6. Post funny, real life, stories that your audience will relate to

7. Post inspiring quotes

9. Engage with other people’s pages

10. Start conversations

11. Vary the lengths of your updates

12. Share trivia

13. Re-post old blog content

14. Run opinion polls

15. Share news stories

16. Give your fans special offers/discounts

17. Post infographics

18. Include videos

19. Remember who your audience are

20. Use Facebook Insights to post when your fans are online

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How to Email Like a Pro (or, How to Get a Reply from a Busy Person)

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Dear Kat
I’m a new blogger and I’m really struggling with getting my name out there… well, it’s not even that really, I’m struggling to get any kind of response from people. You see, I’ve emailed a bunch of people in the industry that I admire, sometimes to ask for a little advice, but mostly to just introduce myself and say hello… but no one is replying to me. I’m starting to feel invisible!

It’s so difficult to get a new blog or business off the ground as it is and I already feel like giving up. What am I doing wrong?

“Getting your name out there” can be one of the biggest hurdles for new bloggers and business owners. You have this great idea but no-one knows you exist! There must be an easy answer… right? Unfortunately you couldn’t be further from the truth. Effective networking and marketing need to go way beyond simply sitting behind your computer and firing off a few emails or tweets and hoping someone pays attention. I’m sorry to break it to you, but they won’t.

Emailing people you admire, or want something from, is a skill in itself, so today I thought I’d address this issue specifically.

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The first thing you need to realise is that the non-responses are probably not personal. It’s unlikely you’ve mortally offended any of these people.

To be brutally honest with you though, I hate getting messages like this. It’s not that I don’t want to help where I can, but sometimes it can all just feel very demanding. Like, they want me to do something for them (and as harsh as it sounds) there’s nothing in it for me.

Also, a lot of these emails feature the same irritating mistakes. Like most of the people I’d imagine you are emailing, I am very time poor. It’s actually quite presumptuous to expect a busy person to give up some of their precious time to help you “get your name out” when you’ve effectively just cold called them.

So what can you do to make sure the busy person you want something from might actually reply?

Your email is personalised and genuine

If you’re emailing someone you admire, either to just to introduce yourself or to ask for advice, then for goodness sakes make it personal. This is not the time to use the CC or BCC tool! A mass email stands out a mile and efficiency should never win over manners.

Always address the person by name. I get hundreds (I wish I was exaggerating) of emails a week from PR companies, small businesses or people wanting something from me that simply start with “Hi there”, or “Dear Sir/ Madam” (!) or even worst “Dear Blogger” REALLY!? To me this looks like you’ve either a) sent the same email to multiple people or b) can’t be bothered to find out what my name is (and for goodness sakes it’s IN my email address!) 

You need to show that you are genuinely interested in whoever you’re emailing, especially if you are asking for a favour. People are less likely to ignore you if they see your passion and personality coming through in your message.

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